It started with a system of fortified surveillances located at strategic places along the coast. Talaies, watchtowers in sight of each other, so that the news of approaching invaders would be passed from one to the next. With increasing commercial shipping the vessels needed safe orientation. Especially since pirates liked to use false fires to lure them into shallows or onto rocks in order to rob them. Today, 13 lighthouses on Mallorca point the way to the next port or around the island.
Built in the 15th century the Torre de Porto Pi is said to be one of the oldest operating lighthouses in the world. But it had not always been a lighthouse in the past. Neither did it stand in the same place as it does today. The canons of the neighboring Castillo de San Carlos had repeatedly caused the windows of the tower to burst. So it was moved to a new location.
Even though beacons have increasingly been replaced by electronic systems, most lighthouses still serve a safety purpose. In Port de Sóller, for example, two lighthouses are marking the way into the bay. But faros also make great landmarks or destinations for hikers.
The one at Cap de Cala Figuera is located on a closed off area but it is beautiful to look at from the ancient watchtower nearby. A popular resting place with a fabulous view of the bay of Palma, Cap Blanc and the Cabrera. While the lighthouse of Cap de Ses Salines is a great starting point for hikes around the southern tip of the island.
Sometimes a lighthouse becomes the landmark of a port town, as in Portocolom. And then there is the most famous lighthouse on the island, the Faro de Formentor. The destination of countless excursions and cycling tours already welcomes travelers who come to the island by plane. A landmark almost like the Statue of Liberty.